The UK entered lockdown on March 23rd, 2020. Not one of us could have claimed to have known what was going to happen in the future at that point, but it's probably fair to say that nobody could have quite anticipated what was to come. It has, no doubt, been a difficult year for all of us. Maybe one of the most difficult years we've ever been through. But where are we one year on, and what happens next?
Changing working habits. One of the primary takeaways from the ongoing lockdown is a re-evaluation for many workers and businesses alike of the commuting mindset. As it was impossible for many people to safely continue travelling to work and working alongside one another, there was a pronounced increase in working from home. By mid-May of 2020, just <a href="https://www.peoplemanagement.co.uk/news/articles/half-brits-travelling-to-work-official-figures-show">35% of workers had travelled to work in the previous seven days</a>.
For many people, this was seen as an inevitability; that sooner or later more and more people would start working from home. Traditionally, many businesses have been somewhat reluctant to implement work from home policies, citing a number of diverse reasons. The reality is, however, that productivity did not take the nose-dive that so many businesses claim when employees began working from home. In fact, a portion of employees and business owners actually reported that productivity had increased.
Working from home is not suitable for everyone, however, and as more businesses began to understand and implement safer working practices and social distancing measures, as we head further into 2021, more people are beginning to go back to their place of work. The ONS reported that at the week ending January 17th, the <a href="https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/coronavirustheukeconomyandsocietyfasterindicators/21january2021">number of workers who travelled to work in the previous week</a> had risen to 48%.
Thinking about our lifestyles, the coronavirus pandemic has had one positive effect, in as much as many people are now embracing a heightened awareness of the importance of good hygiene and cleaner environments. At Rejuvenair, we're committed to helping people get the safer, cleaner, and purer air they deserve. COVID-19 was the cause behind this particular torrid year, but that's not to say another virus can't wreak similar havoc unless we make a clear change in the way we live and work. Life isn't going "back to normal", but as <a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/news/half-of-all-adults-in-uk-receive-first-dose-of-covid-19-vaccine">half of all adults in the UK have received a vaccine jab/a> as of March 20th, we can start to think about how we're going to start getting on with our lives.
There is a <a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-spring-2021/covid-19-response-spring-2021-summary">roadmap in place</a> to ease us out of lockdowns, provided case numbers continue to fall. Unless we learn valuable and important lessons about our experiences through this year of COVID-19 lockdowns, however, we run the risk of history repeating itself in the future.
Whatever we do as restrictions are eased, whether it's going back to the office or meeting the friends and family we haven't seen in far too long, we need to continually appreciate the importance of a clean and hygienic environment.